YUMA, Ariz. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reported an increase in the number of unaccompanied children trying to cross into the U.S.
According to CBP, so far this year there have been 2,000 unaccompanied children found by Yuma Sector Border Patrol almost doubling the amount of children found in 2015.
Amanda Aguirre, president and CEO of Regional Center for Border Health, says most of the children are heading to the border to escape violence in CentralAmerica.
“The cause of violence in those areas in Latin America countries and the organized trafficking and the violence but it’s not safe sending kids to be saved by traveling across the border.”
The ages of the children attempting to cross varies but Aguirre says some have been as young as 18 months old. Also, some children travel thousands of miles from Latin America to try to cross the U.S. – Mexico border.
“The dangers of unaccompanied minors is they don’t know where they are coming from. We are not just talking about crossing the border, they are making a long trip,” says Aguirre.
With the dangers of traveling to the border, Aguirre says there are worse troubles along the border.
“The dangers of human trafficking especially. Even as an adult imagine a child that faces all these dangers.” says Aguirre.
Some of the children who get picked up by Border Patrol are taken to an orphanage in Mexico with their home more than a thousand miles away.